A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about nationalparks

Arches National Park - Utah USA

Moab camping

sunny 101 °F
View Colorado and Utah 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

It was hot !
Like it only got down to 80 at night. And the clear sky allowed the sun to blaze during the day for 100+ degree days.
However that definitely added to the environment. The other worldly landscape that is Arches and Canyonlands national parks in eastern Utah (and a bit of the Colorado National Monument in western Colorado) is what I image a remote desolate trip to Mars would be like.

We took the 4Runner way off road to find a campsite by a dry river bed but with some large cottonwood trees to provide some shade and cover. Through the extended weekend, we also took the 4Runner on some rocky back roads to explore the challenging driving conditions that make the Moab area such a destination for off roading enthusiasts. Even taking "easier" paths with my limited off roading experience, we still got to experience driving on narrow ledges with hundreds of feet of drop off just past the tires, and some slick rock chunks that couldn't even be considered a road. That absolutely needed 4WD low speed and even got a tire off the ground for some 3-wheel driving.

The first day in the park was spent near the entrance. There is basically one main road in the park that goes out and comes back through the entrance. The closest hikes are for park avenue, Lasal mountain overlook, and courthouse towers view. A little further and about half way along the main park road is one of the most popular stops. It includes Balanced Rock and then two shorter hiking paths (less than a mile). One goes to Double Arch and one loops around the North and South windows arches. To complete the day, we also went to the next stop to go on a hike (about 2 miles) to see the well known and photographed Delicate Arch. After an afternoon nap in the heat, we also headed back into the park to catch the sunset from different viewpoints and behind different rock formations.

The second day was completely spent at the farthest point of the park. There you can start a long hike for the Devils Garden trail. It's about 10 miles for the full experience and provides well over a dozen arches and unique rock landscapes. Near there is where the only main campground is within the park (there are a couple back country tent sites) and that provides access to a few other small hikes to additional arches.

Overall, this is one of the most unique national parks in the world with an environment unlike anything you will normally see. Highly recommended.

Recommend:

  • Devil's Garden trail
  • Delicate Arch
  • Double Arch
  • the Windows

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Utah album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 09:12 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes nature mountain utah usa nationalparks 2020 Comments (0)

Memorial Day camping 2020 - Utah & Colorado USA

Ashley National Forest and Dinosaur National Monument time

sunny 50 °F
View Colorado and Utah 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

For the long Memorial weekend, we decided to get some dispersed camping in. That's where you find federal lands that you can drive over off-road paths to get to primitive camp sites that are far away from others and real close to the natural wilderness.

We headed towards the Utah and Colorado border to get away from big cities and people too. The first couple nights we stayed within the Ashley National Forest. It's in north east Utah with lots to see and do. There were dinosaur tracks, arch hikes, man made reservoir, gorge, recreation area, forest, mountains, and some great views. Also, there was time to roast some marshmallows.

Then we headed to the Colorado side of things. We went through the Dinosaur National Monument for some hiking and camping. On our way back to Denver, we swung by and drove through the Colorado National Monument too.

Recommend:

  • Harpers Corner in Dinosaur National Park
  • Drive through Colorado National Monument & stop at all the view points
  • Drive through Douglas Pass on highway 139
  • Red Canyon visitor center - hike and view over Green River
  • Moonshine Arch hike
  • Red Fleet State Park

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
USA Colorado album
USA Utah album

Moonshine Arch (Utah)
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Red Canyon & Green River (Utah)
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State Park (Utah)
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dispersed camping site - scenic, quiet, and so peaceful (Colorado)
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Dinosaur National Monument (Colorado)
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Independence Canyon (Colorado)
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Red Canyon (Colorado)
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:01 Archived in USA Tagged me mountains nature hiking colorado utah usa camping roadtrip nationalparks 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

2019

a year in review

all seasons in one day 77 °F
View Scandinavia 2019 & 14ers 2017+ & Japan 2019 on MurkTravels's travel map.

Looking Back

2019: It's been another fun year, what else can I say. I continue to travel the world and experience awesome unique cultures. I also travel a bit around the US for work, family, camping, or other adventures. I continue to push myself with physical and mental challenges, as well as trying new potential hobbies and building up my skills.

This year was marked by a lot of newness. I have a new lady in my life, the lovely Sharon and her 9 year old Lucien (and Felix the cat). I got to witness a cousin get married and bring in a new family member. I met my brand new niece Cara, a newborn life from Renee and Matt Klein. I took dancing lessons, handgun safety classes, passed work certification tests, and had a first sailing based vacation. There was new tattoo work, new camping and hiking adventures, new add-ons to the 4Runner, a new home, a new pet, and new entertainment. I completed my first ski trip and successfully went down a mountain (a short green run, but didn't fall on one of the attempts, so I'll consider that a victory). Also met new co-workers, friends, and neighbors. Played some new board games, card games, and Xbox games.

I look forward to more of the same in 2020. Already have a trip planned to Israel. Hoping for others to either France, Morocco, Philippines, and around the US. I hope to continue to enjoy work, family, and life in general.

Activities

Things that happened in 2019:

Big Travels

Quick Trips

Challenges

Events & other activities

  • Breckenridge retreat weekend
  • Chicago Open festival : concert of Tool, System of a Down, Prodigy, Meshuggah, Gojira, and 9 other hard rock / heavy metal bands
  • Denver concerts: Gojira, the Roots, Slipknot
  • Denver RAW artists - support Gabby
  • Denver Travel and Adventure show
  • Elitch Gardens amusement parks
  • Jury duty
  • Movie on the Rocks (Red Rocks)
  • new family: Cara and Chelsie
  • volleyball leagues
  • Ski trip to Eldora
  • Universal Studios Hollywood amusement park
  • Water World water parks
  • work certification : Agile Product Owner

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 15:28 Archived in USA Tagged hiking japan sailing sweden concert run usa rockies camping norway denmark nationalparks 14er murktravels 2019 in_review Comments (0)

the Great Sand Dunes National Park 2019 - Colorado USA

highest sand peaks in all of North America

sunny 100 °F

sand everywhere

We went down to southern Colorado to check out a strange natural phenomenon. First, there's just this great big pile (30 square miles) of sand sitting in the middle of a circle of mountain ranges. But in May, June, and July, the melting snow runoff creates a temporary river right beside the sand. And there's some 4WD only off-road paths to take, which made the 4Runner happy.

But be warned, the water also brings out the bugs for those months too. and the sand gets HOT during mid day, so the best dune hiking is early morning or late afternoon. We also were lucky to even get a camping spot at the national parks campground. I checked 6 months before our trip and they were all sold out except for a few spots. We even had to move between sites the two nights we were there (luckily they were close).

And it was HOT during our stay (got to 100 degrees), so make sure to have shade and plenty of water. Good time to take a nap in the middle of the day in the tents and then drive around a bit in the vehicle with the A/C blasting.

Recommend:

  • bring water to hike up the first peaks of the dunes (will take about 2 hours)
  • reserve your campsite as early as possible ... or check out campgrounds that are outside the park
  • bring bug spray and sunblock
  • enjoy the river during the spring/summer months
  • if going off-road, make sure you have a high clearance 4 wheel drive (not AWD) vehicle and a way to deflate and inflate your tires
  • cardboard and regular sleds don't work to slide down the sand, but there's a place that rents boards just south of the park entrance

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels - National Parks album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 12:26 Archived in USA Tagged mountains hiking colorado usa camping nationalparks murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

National Parks (& aliens) 2018 - New Mexico USA

- the trip that partially was -

snow 20 °F
View New Mexico Parks 2018-9 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

To end 2018 and start 2019, I planned a road trip throughout the state of New Mexico. I had plans to stop by Sante Fe (for the Meow Wolf exhibit) and Roswell (for the alien museum), but the main focus was to be on camping in the back of my truck and seeing state and national parks: Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Gila, Bandelier, Carson, Taos.

However, since the federal government were acting like children and decided to shut down, all the parks were closed. I realized after I had started. So I got a few days and nights on the road, but cut the trip short, right after celebrating New Years.

Recommend:

  • Meow Wolf, Sante Fe - more coming to Las Vegas and Denver soon !
  • International UFO museum, Roswell

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels events and races album

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MurkTravels/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2415219085378669|Murk Travels - New Mexico album]]

UFO Museum - included a lot of historical and scientific information in additional to alien stuff
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Meow Wolf - probably only make sense if you've been there and witnessed the craziness

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:08 Archived in USA Tagged art nature hiking usa aliens camping cold roadtrip newmexico nationalparks 2019 Comments (0)

2018 hiking - Colorado USA

... mostly Colorado

sunny 70 °F
View Colombia 2018 & Belize + Panama 2018 & New Mexico Parks 2018-9 & 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

Some more of the places I ran or hiked in 2018:

  • Bergen Peak
  • Colorado Trail - section 2
  • Grand Lake
  • Horsetooth Falls
  • Lair o' the Bear
  • Lake Jasper
  • Mt Galbraith
  • Mt Falcon
  • Red Rocks
  • Reynolds Park / Eagle View
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Walker Ranch

or read in more detail about Ultra runs , Longs Peak , Mt Bierstadt

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

Horsetooth, near Ft Collins
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Walker Ranch, near Boulder
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Colorado Trail
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Rocky Mountain National Park
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Black Canyon, near Gunnison
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Lake Jasper, near Nederland
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Lair O the Bear, near Morrison
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 16:19 Archived in USA Tagged mountains hiking colorado mountain usa hike denver nationalparks 2018 Comments (0)

Ragnars and Grand Traverse 2018 - Colorado and Carolinas USA

distance running races and training

sunny 90 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Races

Some of the individual and team based ultra runs I did over the summer:

Chase the Sun training run - June:

  • on summer solstice, tried to run the entire day from sunrise to sunset
  • group of 5
  • ~ 7 mile looped course near Boulder, CO
  • made about 27 miles and 6 hours

Colorado Ragnar trail - June:

  • around Snowmass, Colorado
  • team of 4, each running 6 times
  • course of 116 miles, mostly off-road dirt trails that looped around one main site
  • I completed about 28 miles
  • team ran for 24 hours
  • camped overnight
  • high of 95, low of 35

Colorado Ragnar road - August:

  • from Copper Mountain to Aspen, Colorado
  • team of 10, each running from 3 to 6 times
  • course of 190 miles, mostly paved roads or sidewalks
  • I completed about 27 miles
  • team ran for 30 hours
  • rode in vans between runs
  • I had the flu the entire weekend

South Carolina Ragnar trail - October:

  • around Fort Mill (near Charlotte NC)
  • team of 6, each running 3 to 5 times
  • course of 132 miles, mostly off-road dirt trails through the woods
  • I completed around 28 miles
  • team ran for about 28 hours
  • camped overnight
  • high humidity and "low" of about 75 overnight

the North Face Grand Traverse - September:

  • the one long solo race I did.
  • Part of a 3 part series (run, mountain bike, cross country ski) throughout the year on the same course
  • from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado
  • distance of 41 miles
  • 7,000 feet of elevation gain and descent
  • almost 10 hours of moving time
  • video : https://www.relive.cc/view/1812896250

the Discrete Cirque Series - August:

Pictures

more at : Events album

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all day training run
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completing Ragnar road Colorado
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completing Ragnar trail Carolinas
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Grand Traverse
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 17:33 Archived in USA Tagged nature colorado mountain run race camping challenge southcarolina nationalparks 2018 northcarolina Comments (0)

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